Darren Crisp grew up off Scarlett Road in Etobicoke not far from the Humber Heights School where all the kids in the neighbourhood converged, Darren and his brother and sister included. The school was a community focal point, and Darren was proud when his mother gave him a sweatshirt adorned with the school colours.
“I must’ve been nine-years-old,” Darren recalls. “She gave it to me when I was in Grade 4.”
How the city has changed in the following 44 years, but in many ways the community still holds the same draw and the memories are strong for Darren and his family, including his mother Ruth, who now lives in The Village of Humber Heights upon the foundation of the old school. As he looks back, Darren remembers a game called ledges, played with a handball along the wall that today still runs its course through the heart of Humber Heights. He remembers the game just the same as he recalls walking home through the quieter streets for lunch on his carefree school days.
This neighbourhood will always feel like home, so when the time came for Ruth to consider a move to a retirement home, Humber Heights was her only choice. “She would not consider anywhere else,” says Darren’s sister, Cheryl. “This was what was familiar to her and where she would feel at home, mainly because of the comfort of all the memories.”
Memories that flooded back when the family was preparing for Ruth’s move and came across the faded old sweatshirt from Darren’s childhood. They immediately decided to offer the memento as a gift to The Village, a reminder of the storied past of so many families in the area and the connection to that past many Humber Heights residents enjoy today.
The family kindly mounted the sweatshirt and it has finally found a home along the wall at the heart of The Village, with other artifacts of local history. It’s a talking point of pride for Ruth, as it should be, for the roots of her connection to the area go deep and The Village is grateful for the thoughtful gift.